ARCHIVED  July 1, 1997

Bank deposits surge in region

The once-sleepy expanse of the Front Range is stretching its economic seams.

Populations are booming, and growth appears endless. Even traffic is backing up on the highways of Larimer and Weld counties. Along for the ride, however, is a tremendous cash flow in this bumper-to-bumper growth.

“There’s just simply more money,´ said Mark Driscoll, president of First National Bank in Fort Collins.

Within the past five years, bank deposits in Northern Colorado have increased 10 percent annually, except for 7 percent in 1995-96 and 18 percent in 1992-93. This growth is expected to continue at a 6.5 percent rate through 1999.

From 1987 through 1992, total deposits were at an annual growth rate of less than 5 percent, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Although Colorado isn’t one of the top states in terms of bank deposits — New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio are the highest-ranking, according to the FDIC — the Front Range has made significant headway in the past decade.

Historically, the average growth of bank deposits for the area has been about 3 percent a year, Driscoll said. Northern Colorado has greatly exceeded that figure in the past few years. And, local deposits are staying local.

“This area is now a net importer of funds because of our growth,” Driscoll said.

The Front Range’s strong economy, low unemployment rates and higher median incomes are also responsible for the increase in bank deposits, Driscoll added.

John Green, a professor of economics at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, said the Front Range has finally reached the population and growth necessary to keep the money flowing locally.

“The feeling I had as an economist is that in recent years, money was coming in from the outside, and it wasn’t staying here,” Green said. “As an economy, Fort Collins [for example] has finally reached critical growth and critical numbers to keep the money here.”

Evidence of this can be seen in the numerous housing and commercial developments breaking ground along the Front Range. Many of these projects are funded locally, Driscoll said.

The once-sleepy expanse of the Front Range is stretching its economic seams.

Populations are booming, and growth appears endless. Even traffic is backing up on the highways of Larimer and Weld counties. Along for the ride, however, is a tremendous cash flow in this bumper-to-bumper growth.

“There’s just simply more money,´ said Mark Driscoll, president of First National Bank in Fort Collins.

Within the past five years, bank deposits in Northern Colorado have increased 10 percent annually, except for 7 percent in 1995-96 and 18 percent in 1992-93. This growth is expected to continue at a 6.5 percent rate through 1999.

From 1987 through…

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